Year-Round Advocacy for Museums

You don’t have to be in Washington, D.C., to make a difference. Let your legislators know about all the work your museum does and essential ways museums serve their communities. Here are several ways you can participate in advocacy for museums every day of the year.

  1. Send a letter to your members of Congress about critical issues affecting museums.
  2. Schedule a visit (virtual visit or phone call during times of physical distancing) with your legislators’ district staff. It’s a critical way to start or further a relationship with your legislator. Find your legislators’ capitol and district office information, and your federal and state legislators’ social media information so you can follow and connect with them online.
  3. Let your legislators know your museum’s economic impact in the community. Personalize the economic impact statement with your museum’s logo and information, and send a snapshot directly to your legislators’ offices. Share your state’s economic impact with your legislators.
  4. Connect with your local CVB or tourism board. Their goal is to highlight what your community has to offer and bring visitors, tourism and economic support to your area; make sure you are on their radar and part of their messaging and efforts.
  5. Join forces with other museums in your community. Plan a group visit or conversation with your legislators’ district staff or schedule time to strategize with area museums on working with the elected officials who represent you. Also see the House Calendar and Senate Schedule so that you are aware of state and district work periods during which you can connect with your legislators at home throughout the year.
  6. Make sure your legislators know how critical federal funds are and how your museum uses them. Use our template letter to share information with your legislators about your IMLS grant.
  7. Encourage your trustees to weigh in with members of Congress about the issues affecting museums, using our Contact Congress page.
  8. Create a Year-Round Advocacy Plan. Use our guide to identify one or two actions to take every month to build relationships with legislators and raise the visibility of your museum.

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